Midge and Bob Pinciotti

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Midge Pinciotti
That '70s Show character
First appearance That '70s Pilot
Last appearance The Promise Ring
(as a regular cast member)
"Rip This Joint
(episode 7.06)
(guest appearance)
Created by Mark Brazill
Portrayed by Tanya Roberts
Information
Nickname(s) Midgey
Gender Female
Family Unnamed Sister
Spouse(s) Bob Pinciotti (ex-husband)
Children Valerie Pinciotti
Donna Pinciotti
Tina Pinciotti
Bob Pinciotti
That '70s Show character
First appearance That '70s Pilot
Last appearance That '70s Finale
Created by Mark Brazill
Portrayed by Don Stark
Information
Nickname(s) Bobby, Bargain Bob, National Guard, Dumbass, Cry Baby, Cueball
Gender Male
Spouse(s) Midge Pinciotti (ex-wife)
Significant other(s) Joanna (ex-girlfriend)
Pam Burkhart (ex-girlfriend)
Marsha Sullivan (ex-girlfriend)
Children Valerie Pinciotti
Donna Pinciotti
Tina Pinciotti

Midge Pinciotti and Bob Pinciotti are two fictional characters on the popular Fox sitcom That '70s Show (1998). They are the loving, lovable but dim-witted parents of the red-haired tomboy Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), and Donna's less-frequently seen younger sister, Tina. Midge was portrayed by Tanya Roberts, and Bob was portrayed by Don Stark.

Description[edit]

Because of their impaired thought processes, which lead them to be easily influenced by 1970s fads (particularly Bob, who sports stereotypically bad 1970s permed hair—later revealed to be a hairpiece—and wears gaudy polyester leisure suits), they constantly embarrass their daughter, Donna. Bob and Midge were high school sweethearts, and Bob fondly recalls the first time he saw Midge: "She was the tallest girl in biology class." Midge recalled that "Bob was the shortest boy, but what he lacked in height he made up for in shortness." It is hinted that Bob and Midge got married because Midge became pregnant with Donna while still in high school (which conflicts with the fact that Bob and Midge had an older daughter Valerie, so perhaps it was actually Valerie with whom Midge was pregnant at their marriage). Bob ran a local home appliance store called "Bargain Bob's," which is eventually run out of business by Price Mart, leaving the family broke for a time. Bob later "invents" a device which dispenses facial tissues from a car visor making him "rich again", as described by neighbor, Red Forman.[1]

Bob and Midge are somewhat risqué with each other, even going so far as to have sex in semi-public places, including inside of Eric's Vista Cruiser, and on the hammock in their backyard where Donna used to read her Nancy Drew mystery books. (Donna witnessed the latter tryst, and was traumatized for some time as a result.) They are both nudists and commonly hosted nudist parties.

Daughters[edit]

In the early episodes Bob and Midge were depicted as having a total of three daughters: Donna was the middle daughter, an older daughter named Valerie who was already in college, and a younger sister named Tina who appeared in the episode "Eric's Burger Job." Valerie and Tina were quickly phased out and never seen or referenced again, leaving Donna as the Pinciotti's only daughter. This is a similar occurrence to what happened to Chuck Cunningham on "Happy Days", Seven on "Married... with Children" and to Judy Winslow on "Family Matters."

Relations with the Formans[edit]

Bob and Midge moved in next door to cantankerous, overbearing Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) and his sweet but troubled wife Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) when Donna was still a small child. Bob and Red, despite Red's insults and cantankerousness, seem to enjoy each other's company, to the point of going on hunting and fishing trips together. At one point in the series Red reluctantly admits that Bob is his friend.

They both annoy Red greatly, particularly Bob, and Red makes little to no effort to hide his annoyance, but no matter how many times he insults Bob, Bob just smiles and laughs it off because he thinks Red is just kidding. From time to time Red does try to partake of male bonding activities with Bob, but is generally frustrated. Red doesn't seem to mind Donna. He may actually like her better than her parents.

Separation and divorce[edit]

Midge was the neighborhood mom Eric Forman and his male friends fantasized about when coming of age (although Kelso and Fez have both admitted to having sexual feelings for Kitty Forman). During one episode when Kelso and Fez thought that Eric had sex with Midge due to Midge's panties being left behind after a Midge-Bob encounter in the Vista Cruiser, they immediately began bowing to Eric and calling him "a God! A God, I say!" She is also dimwitted, which often results in her being the butt of jokes.

Problems arose when Midge started expressing dissatisfaction with just being a housewife, which Bob, being a somewhat old fashioned kind of guy, had difficulty accepting. They began to fight regularly and in the second season they separated, but continued to live in the same house under the agreement that they could see other people; something Red and Kitty felt was a bad idea and encouraged Bob to "think hard" about. At Red's birthday, Bob and Midge brought along separate dates, but Bob got annoyed with Midge's date. Bob's argument with Midge led to a passionate tryst in their car. Eventually Bob and Midge reconciled and even went so far as to renew their vows.

Tanya Roberts ceased to be a regular member of the cast in 2001. This eventually led to Bob and Midge's on-screen divorce and her leaving for California to "pursue a career on Broadway" (again showing her dimwittedness, or possibly being a euphemism used by Kitty to explain to Donna where her mother was heading.[2] She guest starred for a few episodes after that).

Things about Bob[edit]

Bob has a strange obsession with the banjo. In one episode, he advises Eric to deal with a rival for Donna's affections by hitting him with a banjo, while in another, he advises Red to help Kitty get over her menopause by getting her a banjo. When a skeptical Red asks "A banjo, Bob?", Bob answers that "I can't hold a banjo and not smile." Red sarcastically replies that "you can't hold a potato chip and not smile." Bob then immediately proceeds to smile and agrees.

Bob Pinciotti served in the United States National Guard. Sometimes Red resents Bob when he gets to bragging about his service (in a fit of anger at Donna, Eric calls her a National Guard kid). Bob is also known for his infamous habit of walking around his house with his robe open and no underwear.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season 4 Episode 16, "Donna Dates a Kelso". That '70s Show.
  2. ^ Season 4, Episode 6 "The Relapse"